SALT LAKE CITY — The Federal Government is calling out scammers for Medicare fraud and taking judicial action against them.
The Department of Justice says two nurse practitioners in Montana were just sentenced this week for conspiring to defraud Medicare out of millions of dollars.
Former US Attorney for Utah, John Huber, told KSL’s Dave and Dujanovic Show these schemes include calling up older people and convincing them they need a certain product, like a knee brace, and that Medicare will pay for it.
“What ends up is a brace that you could pick up at Big 5 for $30 is now being billed to Medicare for hundreds of dollars. Grandma didn’t do anything wrong, the telemarketers did,” he explained.
“They get a nurse practitioner to sign off on it, without ever reviewing grandma’s medical records, and what do you know, the taxpayers just paid for a $300 brace. Times that by 7600, and you are up into a lot of money.”
He says these scammers are moneygrubbers. And it’s making the cost of healthcare go up for everyone else.
“Then it becomes more attractive to more scammers and it is a perpetuating cycle of fraud,” said Huber.
The US medical system is so complex, that hospitals and insurance companies employ armies of people checking codes and billing. But this isn’t a mistake in coding, this is a deliberate scam.
“We’re talking about intentional defrauding and fleecing of American taxpayer money,” he said.
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